JUDGES of the Great British High Street competition said they were ‘impressed’ after Blackburn pulled out all the stops during a tour of the town.
A team of experts from across the country were given a personalised tour in a bid to secure the title for the ‘Best Town Centre’.
Blackburn has already been ahead twice in the public vote. While the online public vote is a key part of the competition and makes up 50% of the final decision, competition judges have control over the other 50%.
The tour steered by Blackburn’s Business Improvement District and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council included a visit to the renovated railway station, the multi-million-pound Cathedral Quarter, the modern new bus station, Blackburn Market and The Mall Shopping Centre.
The group were then whisked up King William Street for a tour of the Cotton Exchange, The Making Rooms and The Drummers Arms which will be opening later this month. The tour concluded at Fleming Square with a final video presentation.
One of the three judges, Deborah Owen-Ellis Clark, Head of Marketing Retail at British Land, was impressed with the teamwork between town centre partners. She said: “Blackburn is far beyond where I thought it would be and the town has shown great community spirit.
“It feels like a safe place to visit and the cleanliness of the town was amazing. Some of the highlights for us include visiting the Cotton Exchange and the new bus station.
“The Healthy High Street partners are very passionate about the town and the teamwork between businesses and organisations is remarkable.”
Manager of the Blackburn Business Improvement District, Harriet Roberts, said: “It’s been a privilege to show the judges around the town today and to introduce them to business, organisations and individuals who are helping to make a success of the town centre.”
If successful, Blackburn will win a share of the £100,000 cash prize pot as well as a trip to Twitter UK’s London office to further boost their social media skills.